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Minister Kasaija: Gov’t Doesn’t Recognize Cryptocurrencies As Legal Tender

Uganda’s Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has warned the public against trading in Cryptocurrencies, arguing that they aren’t regulated and recognized in the East African country.

“This is to inform the general public that the Government of Uganda doesn’t recognize any crypto currencies as legal tender in Uganda,” Kasaija said.

He added: “The Government of Uganda has not licensed any organisation in Uganda to sell crypto-currencies and to facilitate the trade or exchange of crypto- currencies.”

The Minister made the remarks today morning while  addressing the media at Uganda Media Centre  about the emergence of crypto currencies.

He revealed that government has noted the emergence of the practice of using, holding and trading crypto currencies.

He explained that unlike other owners of financial assets who are protected by the government regulation, holders of crypto- currencies in Uganda do not enjoy any consumer protection should they lose the value assigned to their holdings of crypto- currencies.

“These are digital assets that are to effect electronic payment without the participation or authorisation of the Bank of Uganda,” he said.

He noted that hundreds of crypto-currencies have been designed and  launched around the world and  the most well known examples include Bitcoin & Ethereum.

“Such aren’t issued or regulated by the Government of Uganda or the Bank of Uganda,” he said.

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has severally spoken against trading in digital currencies because it’s outside its regulatory purview.

 “Bank of Uganda warns the general public that whoever wishes to invest their hard earned savings in Cryptocurrency  forms such as One-coin, Bitcoin, Ripple, Peercoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Primecoin, Blackcoin or any other forms of Digital Currency is taking a risk in financial space where there is neither investor protection nor regulatory purview,” Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor, BoU, said in a press statement dated February 14, 2017.

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